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Editorial: Arts important facet of community recreation

Local gallery cornerstone of arts
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Artist David Stonhouse at a recent show at the Godfrey Dean Gallery . (File Photo)

YORKTON - There are times the arts get shuffled rather far down the deck in terms of what they provide to a community. 

Being a safe city always rates highly when people are questioned about what they want in a community. 

You can say the same thing regarding access to the adequate health care, although what people see as adequate is likely to differ considerably based on age and other factors. 

And, certainly good recreational opportunities are on many lists. 

While recreation is actually a many-faceted area, for many its focus is on the sports side of things. 

If you look at recent presentations and debates at Yorkton Council, you see sports is a much-visited topic. 

The two primary debates have been about the city undertaking two major projects related to sports. 

The first relates to Deer Park Golf Course. 

After literally years of talking about the need for a new clubhouse at Deer Park the city is finally moving ahead with the project to build a new facility.  

At a regular meeting of Yorkton Council in February they voted to proceed with the project with an overall cost of $7.6 million.  

Next up, with a decision pending at some point in the coming weeks, or months, is how to deal with issues at the aging Kinsmen Arena. 

Council may choose to spend some millions to address the facility’s shortcomings for a few more years, trying to squeeze another 10-15 years out of an already old structure, or they could invest more millions and build a new facility attached to the Gallagher Centre. 

The latter option is less palatable financially, but the result is a new building, with some interesting synergies created as part of the larger Gallagher Centre complex. 

And then there have been public requests for a pump bike track, an additional football field – this one city-owned, and an indoor basketball facility. 

But, there is another side to recreation, one that attracts those who are not necessarily avid athletes. The arts, and all it entails is important to recreation too. 

If you doubt that people locally appreciate the art, check out the story in this edition on the report from the Godfrey Dean Gallery presented recently to Council. The Gallery is an active centre not just for the viewing of art installations, but of learning art through its outreach programming. 

Much like the gallery the Yorkton Public Library also fills an important recreational niche in the city, one tied obviously to the literary arts. 

Since recreation is not limited to sports, it is important the city maintain some level of funding balance to ensure the services of entities such as the gallery and library are maintained and grown.